Judge Orders Trump to Answer Questions in Legal Battle with José Andrés

Before he takes office on January 20, President-elect Donald Trump will need to be deposed in a case involving the decision by José Andrés to back out of a restaurant deal at Trump's Washington hotel.

José Andrés
Dec. 16, 2016
By Olive Oil Times Staff
José Andrés

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Before he takes the Oath of Office on January 20, President-elect Donald Trump could spend up to 7 hours answer­ing ques­tions in a depo­si­tion over his legal bat­tle with José Andrés, the Spanish-American chef, restau­ra­teur and a for­mer dean of Spanish Studies at the International Culinary Center (he now sits on the advi­sory board of the school).

The chef’s sig­na­ture Cornicabra and José Andrés Secret Blend’ olive oils, pro­duced by Casas de Hualdo, are peren­nial award win­ners at the New York International Olive Oil Competition.

The feud started when Andrés backed out of an agree­ment to open a restau­rant in Trump’s lux­ury hotel not far from the White House. Andrés argued that Trump’s deroga­tory com­ments dur­ing his cam­paign about immi­grants made it impos­si­ble for him to run a suc­cess­ful restau­rant there. Trump then sued the chef, seek­ing $10 mil­lion in dam­ages.


Another chef, Geoffrey Zakarian, also scrapped plans to open a restau­rant at the hotel, cit­ing Trump’s incen­di­ary lan­guage on the cam­paign trail.

Trump’s lawyers sought to avoid the depo­si­tion argu­ing that they had already answered sim­i­lar ques­tions in the depo­si­tion for the Zakarian case. On Wednesday, a Superior Court judge in Washington ordered that the President-elect sit for a depo­si­tion in his dis­pute with Andrés dur­ing the first week of January, before his swear­ing-in on January 20.

Earlier this week, Andrés took to the President-elec­t’s favorite com­mu­ni­ca­tion chan­nel, Twitter, to offer an alter­na­tive to the ongo­ing legal bat­tle:

José Andrés was born in Mieres, Spain. Early in his career, he trained under Ferran Adrià at the restau­rant El Bulli.

In May 2012, Andrés was named dean of Spanish Studies at the International Culinary Center, where he and Colman Andrews devel­oped a cur­ricu­lum in tra­di­tional and mod­ern Spanish cui­sine.

George Washington University awarded Andrés an hon­orary doc­tor­ate degree in pub­lic ser­vice in 2014, when he addresses the uni­ver­si­ty’s com­mence­ment at the National Mall.

In September, 2015 President Obama pre­sented Andrés with the National Humanities Medal at a White House cer­e­mony.

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